2 mile easy trot with Maia first thing. Coffee/breakfast followed that and then I headed out for 11 easy miles on my own. Followed HR on that and kept it low the whole way, which left me frustrated at how slow I had to walk/jog at the end when the sun was out and I was running uphill. You know it seems like after years and years (and years!) of low HR running that I'd be able to run with my HR in the 140's... I guess I can, but not uphill at the end of a long run when the sun is out. I often curse the fact that we live up at the top of a stupid stupid hill.
My plan was to head out again a few hours later for a 4 mile tempo/progression run by feel, but I was playing on Facebook and saw a post about a group track session tonight at Kailua High. I haven't done a group track session in probably 15 years but what the heck? Why not? I swim and ride with people and I totally enjoy that but I almost always run alone. I didn't know any of the people in that run group but that was almost better... No pressure... I could show up and be the slowest one and that would be fine (indeed that's exactly what happened).
The workout was a bunch of short "fast" efforts, supposed to be speed development stuff, which I pretty much never do! Ok I do strides a few times/week, but I'm never really straining on those. Tonight I wasn't giving anywhere close to 100% but it wasn't like I wasn't trying... I'd say the combination of lots of long/slow/easy running recently has simply left me lacking the coordination to turn my feet over quickly. That said, I had NO desire to rip my legs off tonight, but I did want to challenge myself in a new/different way, so I ran as quickly as felt right. I feel like I got what I wanted out of the session- a fun social time and a different physical stimulus. I listened to a podcast today where the guy said something about how when athletes train in groups that they always work too hard and how this was a 'real problem'... and while I understood what he was saying, I'd argue that it depends... depends on your goals and what you're looking to achieve with your training. Will these track sessions help me run a better double marathon in March? Not likely. Will they help me enjoy running more because I'm doing something different and making new friends? Likely.
That's me, at the back every time, on our awesome unmarked dirt track.
So the day ended with another 5 miles which gave me 18 for the day and looking back on that, seems solid. Physically I don't feel like I ran 18 miles today so I'll take that as a good sign!
I brought Moana along with me and she ran a little bit with us which was fun. She said she enjoyed it, which was important criteria if I was going to make this Tuesday night track thing part of my routine... I think I'll go back again next week.